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Leukemia Chemotherapy  

Leukemia is a form of cancer which affects the blood.  It can affect the production of important blood components which can affect the body’s ability to fight infection, carry oxygen throughout the body and perform normal clotting functions.  Other important functions may be affected as well.  Leukemia is usually caused when cancer cells invade and grow within the bone marrow which creates the critical components of blood.  There are a number of different treatments for leukemia and we will discuss one major type called leukemia chemotherapy. 

First of all it should be noted that chemotherapy entails the use of special medications which are introduced to the body and which are designed to recognize and then destroy cancer cells which may be affecting different parts of the body. 

In the case of leukemia chemotherapy, these drugs and delivery systems are designed to kill cancer cells which may be causing these leukemia cancer symptoms.  It may also be used to kill sufficient cancer cells such that the disease can go into remission. 

It should be noted that leukemia chemotherapy is a very common form of treatment for this disease.  Surgical treatments are note used as extensively because it would be difficult to access and remove the cancerous tissue involved. 

When leukemia chemotherapy is used, the drugs used to treat the disease may be introduced to the body in several different ways.  They may be taken orally.  Or they may be introduced into the bloodstream through a catheter.  They may also be injected into a vein.  And the drugs may be injected directly into cerebrospinal fluid. 

A catheter is often used for delivery of the chemotherapy since it allows for multiple doses over a period of time.  The catheter can remain in the patient for a good period of time and it is only necessary to introduce the drugs into the catheter when necessary. 

One of the key drawbacks to many kinds of chemotherapy was the fact that while the drugs used were effective at killing cancer cells, they also had a tendency to kill other healthy cells in the area.  This caused a variety of side effects including nausea, vomiting, fatigue, depressed immunity and others. 

However some recent developments in leukemia cancer chemotherapy have enabled to use of targeted treatments.  These treatments utilize cancer fighting drugs which attack the cancer cells but which are designed to leave healthy cells alone.  This enables doctors to increase the effective dosage since it will have little to no effect on healthy cells. 

Treatments like this are what has helped to improve the effectiveness of leukemia cancer chemotherapy and lower the incidence of common side effects.  The net result is that sufferers of this disease have a much better chance for a full recovery. 

Or if the disease has progressed to the point where it cannot be effectively treated, then this type of therapy can help to alleviate symptoms, slow the progression of the disease and provide patients with the best quality of life for as long as possible.